Annular tear healing time

For patients who have developed an annular tear, healing time will vary from person to person. The process of resorption, a chemical breakdown of torn or extruded spinal disc material before it is resorbed by the body, could take anywhere from several weeks to a year. However, it is possible to manage your symptoms while the healing process takes place.

Work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan, which could include pain medication, hot/cold therapy, massage, intermittent rest and low-impact exercise. All of these treatments can help you maintain healthy circulation while the disc repairs itself. Read on to learn about the treatment options and surgical alternatives available to assist in the recovery process.

Exercises for an annular tear

While you could be tempted to stay immobile during the annular tear repair process, it is in your best interest to be active. Otherwise, you run the risk of developing stiff joints, weakened muscles and a less effective immune system — all of which are factors that can be detrimental to disc resorption. Some low-impact exercises that you could try under a doctor’s supervision include:

  • Walking or hiking
  • Swimming or other forms of hydrotherapy
  • Using an elliptical trainer
  • Strengthening your core muscles with a therapy ball
  • Working your leg muscles on a recumbent stationary bike

When does annular tear surgery become an option?

About 90 percent of patients with annular tears will not need surgery, while the remaining 10 percent can seek more targeted treatments when other methods have proven ineffective. For these patients, there is Laser Spine Institute. We offer a variety of minimally invasive procedures that can help you find lasting relief from chronic neck and back pain. Our orthopedic surgeons specialize in procedures that are safer and effective alternatives to highly invasive traditional annular tear surgery.^ Contact Laser Spine Institute today for more information.

At Laser Spine Institute, our team of dedicated surgeons has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Our procedures use a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques in order to alleviate the debilitating symptoms associated with this condition. To find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a no-cost MRI review.*